Delhi Pradesh Congress Committee president Ch. Anil Kumar said that the launch of the “Red Lights On, Gaadi Off” campaign by the Delhi Government at traffic signals today calls the bluff of Chief Minister Arvind, who had all along blamed “parali burning” (stubble burning) for the rising pollution levels in the Capital, though Delhi Congress had been insisting that the causes for the severe levels of toxic air were vehicular and dust pollution, generated within Delhi.

Ch. Anil Kumar said that the Arvind Government was spending crores of rupees for the “Red Lights On, Gaadi Off” campaign, but had that money been spent in improving public transport and dust control, Delhi’s air would have been cleaner and breathable. He said that CM Arvind had steadfastly refused to admit that vehicular and dust pollution, mainly on account of the increasing number of private vehicles on the roads, and hectic construction activity like the Central Vista project, broken and potholed roads, were the core reasons for the air pollution in Delhi.

Ch. Anil Kumar said that the Delhi Government had squandered crores of rupees for the publicity and implementation of the bio-decomposer solutions, developed by the Pusa Institute, in the farm lands of Delhi to prevent stubble burning, but there were very few takers for the solution even in Delhi, and in the neighbouring States, due to the high cost and difficulty in the implementation. He said that had the Arvind Government taken measures long back to control vehicular pollution, Delhi’s poisonous air could have been controlled long back. He added that  since CM Arvind had been busy touring States scheduled to go for Assembly elections next year, he had little time to spare to address the problems of Delhi, like combatting the Covid-19 pandemic, oxygen shortage, water and power crisis, and now pollution. He said that with the weather becoming colder, Delhi’s air has become thick with smog, threatening to chock people in the days ahead.

Ch. Anil Kumar said that CM Arvind was compelled to start even this latest campaign to provide some short-term gainful employment to the disillusioned Aam Aadmi Party volunteers, as around 2500 marshals would be deployed at 100 traffic lights across Delhi, to implement the “Gaadi Off” campaign. He cautioned that if the past such campaigns were any indication, very few drivers would bother to switch off their vehicles at traffic lights, and it would not be possible for the marshals to enforce the campaign at crowded traffic signals, with a long line of vehicles, and misbehaviour by marshals would be another problem.

Ch. Anil Kumar asked Delhi Chief Minister Arvind to get real, by getting out of his illusionary world, to understand the ground reality for Delhi’s air pollution, and act accordingly, to combat Delhi’s air pollution, and protect the health of the people, as the toxic air will only further damage the lungs and eyes of those who had been victims of the Covid-19 pandemic.